Info Service on Climate Change (Aug14/02)
27 August 2014
Third World Network
Technology Committee advance further work on key issues
Kuala Lumpur, 27 August (Hilary Chiew) – The Technology Executive
Committee (TEC) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC) held its ninth meeting on 18 to 21 August in Bonn,
The meeting of the TEC this year also saw intense discussions on the
preparations for the workshop on national systems of innovation, the
future of the Poznan Strategic Programme, the linkages between the
technology mechanism and the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC, and
key messages to the Conference of Parties (COP), besides having a
thematic dialogue on climate technology financing.
Developing country members warned against delaying the workshop on
systems of innovation, which deals with the broader topic of enabling
environments and barriers to technology transfer, as this would send
a very bad signal to the COP.
The meeting also saw strong retort from two developing country representatives
who were observers to the meeting, who registered their objections
to a special presentation by Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer who is Co-chair
of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Working
Group III (WG III). Edenhofer made a presentation to the TEC
on the WG III contribution to IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report on mitigation
of climate change.
In his presentation, he showed a controversial slide depicting regional
patterns of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in relation to countries
that were grouped according to their incomes. (This was one
of the most controversial issues at the IPCC’s WG III meeting early
this year where data on GHG emissions growth by splitting up the countries
using the World Bank categories of low income, lower-middle income,
upper-middle income and high income countries in the draft Summary
for Policy Makers was objected to by many developing countries on
grounds that the methodology used was scientifically flawed. The final
report did not have any reference to the income based categories.)
In response to Edenhofer’s presentation, the delegate from Saudi Arabia
wanted her intervention to be formally recorded, recalling that the
categorisation was rejected at the IPCC meeting as it was not based
on established literature and was not accepted by governments. The
Singapore delegate reminded members that the Convention does not make
reference to countries according to income categories.
Chair Gabriel Blanco (Argentina) opened the meeting. Two new
members – Ibrahim Kilicaslan (Turkey) and Zhang Xiaohua (China) were
nominated to replace Jukka Ousukainen (Finland – Annex 1) and Wang
Can (China – Asia-Pacific) respectively. Ousukainen and Wang resigned
before their term ended.
Preparation of the workshop on national systems of innovation
Taskforce member Griffin Thompson (United States) briefed members
on the preparation for the workshop that is scheduled for 13 - 14
October. He said national innovation system is an important concept
to capture as regards the institutional arrangements, policies, skills
and talents that are required to catalyse, accelerate and expand innovation
and technology development. He said in order to let TEC has a systematic
review of the concept, the taskforce has spent much time elaborating
on the agenda and speakers. He noted that there is still a fundamental
misunderstanding about national innovation systems and the misunderstanding
is greater in the larger sphere of Parties (of the UNFCCC). He presented
the revised agenda comprising of three sessions that build on one
A lengthy discussion took place with some developed country TEC members
expressing the difficulty in getting high quality speakers on the
topic; one member even proposed the idea of postponing the workshop,
which drew sharp responses from several developing country members,
who insisted that the workshop be held this year.
On the last day of the meeting, the agenda of the workshop was finalised
and the speakers were decided.
Below are highlights of the exchanges that took place in this regard.
Antonio Pfulger (Germany), a member of the taskforce said although
the agenda is pretty much advanced as far as the substance is concerned
but it still faced a major challenge of finding speakers. He said
given the short time until October and the sensitivities of this particular
topic and the attention paid to this workshop, we want to make sure
that we have the right topics and speakers. He was unsure that the
workshop will work and if TEC will be in a position to develop some
key messages for the COP and wondered if TEC will postpone the assessment
(on enabling environment and barrier) to next year instead.
Kryzsztof Klincewicz (Poland), also member of the taskforce
said the workshop should strive for perfection and not settle for
a mediocre outcome. He said a lot of work was done since May with
several tele-conferences and generated some documents. The list of
speakers is pretty extensive now but the taskforce is in a cutting-down
exercise but is not appropriate to disclose it before it is agreed
within the taskforce, adding that he seriously think that by end of
TEC9 meeting, the taskforce can finalised the preparation. He was
worried that it might be difficult to get some good speakers for this
Zhang Xiaohua (China) as a new member of the taskforce said
he was glad to work on this topic. He noted that there are still some
gaps (in the preparation) but there is expectation for TEC to deliver
by Lima (venue of COP20). He said as mentioned by Thompson, there
had been in-depth discussion of the agenda and reckoned that they
had (arrived at) a very good agenda and the remaining work is getting
the appropriate speakers. He said that the workshop is just the starting
point and not a one-time task that requires perfection, but rather
it should open up discussions which will be continued, stressing that
the work gets started before Lima.
Seyed Mohammad Sadeghzadeh (Iran) wondered why it is so difficult
to choose speakers from a long list. If this is difficult then how
are we going to tackle technology transfer for addressing climate
change, he asked. He said that there is no justification to postpone
El-Hassan (Sudan) in associating with Zhang and Sadeghzadeh
said the topic is very dear developing countries and there is a mandate
from Parties to prioritise it. He said the workshop is the only activity
on this topic and it is difficult to go to the next COP without anything.
He reminded members that the workshop was decided last year and the
TEC had spent four months working on it. He warned that postponing
the workshop will be a very bad signal.
Omedi Moses Jura (Kenya) added his voice in calling for the
taskforce to work according to the schedule and believed that the
TEC is still in good time to deliver something in Lim, adding that
the workshop should be held according to the scheduled time.
Amel Zouaoui (Algeria) also supported the call for the workshop
to be held in October.
Krzysztof Klincewicz (Poland) said the Chair is putting enormous
pressure on the taskforce, registering his concern that people are
looking at the workshop to address the topic of the enabling environment
Kanat Baigarin (Kazakhstan) said we need this workshop to start
discussion as soon as possible. In his opinion, any output from the
workshop will be useful for the TEC to at least gain clarity and mutual
understanding of Parties.
El-Hassan (Sudan) said he too preferred to take time to summarise
the outcome of the workshop and is not putting a lot of expectation
on this workshop to produce key messages to the COP but as a step
to put the process forward.
Matthew Kennedy (Ireland) was uncomfortable that the workshop
is going to happen, noting that there is a reputational risk if it
is not of high quality. He said he did not understand why there was
so much drama in this regard.
Pfulger (Germany) said he is of the view that the taskforce
should continue to develop the agenda. Looking at the mandate, he
said the taskforce should continue preparing key messages for COP20
and COP21 and the taskforce would need clear guidance from the TEC
on when to produce the report.
Thompson (United States) said the agenda is as good as the
speakers that speak to the agenda but the concern is (the quality
of) the speakers. He would not want to jeopardise the topic by having
second or third tier speakers instead of first rank speakers. He said
the taskforce did not have a hidden agenda.
Sadeghzadeh (Iran), El-Hassan and Zhang were adamant that the
workshop be allowed to go ahead and not to prejudge the outcome as
the TEC needs to deliver something in this area of work on enabling
environment and barriers.
The International Energy Agency representative said the topic of the
workshop is of extreme interest to the agency and it is happy to offer
support in finding speakers and provide a series of link to relevant
The World Trade Organisation’s counsellor from the International Property
Division, Jayashree Watal said for the last year since the beginning
of 2013, intellectual property rights (IPRs) has become a subject
of the Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
Council (of the World Trade Organization), which to the best of her
knowledge is the only inter-governmental venue where governments put
on record their views on IPR and climate change. She went on to share
the links to the documents and noted that so far four meetings had
been held with great amount of details and interesting discussion
on various aspects of IPRs and innovations.
She was referring to the discussion on the topic of “Contribution
of intellectual property (IP) to facilitate the transfer of environmentally
rational technology’’ at the TRIPs Council meeting following the submission
of the proposal by Ecuador on 27 February 2013 which put forward the
need to review the TRIPS agreement in light of the need to transfer
environmentally sound technology (EST), especially to combat climate
(The WTO TRIPS Council is the WTO member body that is responsible
for administering and monitoring the operation of the TRIPS Agreement,
a multilateral treaty that sets minimum standards for IP protection
in WTO member states.)
Thompson (United States) in a sharp retort said this points
to the issue that the taskforce is trying to focus on and that the
workshop is not about IPRs but focuses on the issue of innovation.
To this, Watal concurred that the WTO has a wealth of materials beyond
IPRs and much of it comes from the US and that there are many agreements
beyond the TRIPS that is relevant to the work of the TEC.
The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development said
that there is a diversity of views among countries on national innovation
systems and hoped that those views will be reflected.
Climate technology financing:
Thematic dialogue on climate technology financing
The thematic dialogue began with the presentation by Amal-Lee
Amin, Associate director of E3G titled Challenges, opportunities,
good practices and lessons learned from climate technology financing.
She said the scale of climate technology investment would include
US$10 trillion in additional energy investment to 2030 in order to
keep temperature rise below 2°C shifting US$26 trillion from high
to low carbon energy investment; US$145 trillion in infrastructure
investment to 2030 needs to be made low carbon and climate resilient,
noting that there are uncertainties regarding the costs of adaptation;
and that investment in major economies are mainly low carbon from
2020. Amin said that there is need for understanding the specific
challenges and risks to climate technology investment such as technology
risks, market risks, capacity constraints, policy and regulatory risks,
financial challenges and scale of investment challenges. As these
investments are typically capital intensive, they posed specific financial
challenges within developing countries: scarce availability of capital
for public investment, poor credit-worthiness and lack of guarantees
and lack of access to appropriate forms of credit.
During the panel discussion, co-Chair of the Standing Committee on
Finance (SCF) Diann Black-Layne (Antigua and Barbados) said
that the biennial assessment of the SCF has a lot of information on
climate financing in general.
She believed that the 2015 agreement will be the best way to get all
countries to put in place an internationally agreed financial suite
of policies and measures to enable climate technology financing which
is not a role of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) or the Green
Climate Fund (GCF). She said one of the success stories (in climate
financing) of the UNFCCC is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
which up to 2014, delivered US$17 billion worth of investment. To
some extent, she reckoned that the CDM has been successful in transferring
technologies. Black-Layne said that the TEC and the Climate Technology
Centre and Network (CTCN) should play an important role and that the
TEC can provide guidance to the operating entities of the financial
mechanism through the SCF.
Chair of the Advisory Board of the CTCN, Fred Machulu Onduri (Uganda)
noted that engagement of private sector is important as most climate
technologies are with the private sector and that direct link between
the CTCN and the financial institutions can help mobilise resources.
He also stressed on the need to translate Technology Needs Assessment
(TNA) outcomes into requests with the CTCN to facilitate the replication
of success stories.
Linkages between the Financial Mechanism and the Technology
The taskforce on linkages between the technology mechanism
(TM) and the financial mechanism (FM) presented a ‘draft value proposition
paper” that summarises the work of the TEC that is of relevance for
the FM. Members discussed the draft paper with an aim to provide possible
elements of draft recommendations to the COP as well as possible topics
for TEC briefs.
Noting that the draft paper laid out the hypothetical and theoretical
linkages, Thompson (United States) said as the TEC is charged
to deepen linkages between these two mechanisms, he would recommend
that the first concrete step is to establish a process for dialogue
between the three entities – the GEF, GCF and SCF – and the next step
is to establish roadmap for on-going institutionalised dialogue with
the three entities.
Black-Layne, co-Chair of SCF said a lot of finance for technology
transfer especially in adaptation happened outside of the Convention,
adding that the GEF focuses on mitigation technologies but only 2%
of the finance for adaptation goes to financing technologies (for
adaptation). She said defining climate technology is something that
the TEC can look into especially with assessing the biennial assessment
reports of developed countries. She said the SCF would like to see
more work on the technology front with the participation of TEC in
SCF’s forums. She also invited the TEC to look into providing inputs
to the guidance for the Operating Entities (GEF and GCF) developed
Members, in general, shared their frustration of not getting the attention
of GCF but Chair Blanco (Argentina) said the TEC does not necessarily
need to wait for other views before it can present its views on TEC
briefs or submitting recommendations to the COP.
Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)
Director of the CTCN Jukka Ousukainen provided an update
on the progress of the Centre. He said the Centre would be fully functional
in a couple of months. He said 93 national designated entities were
instated worldwide and representatives from 74 countries have participated
in CTCN trainings through regional trainings across Africa, Asia,
Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Two remaining rounds
of training for Small Island Developing States in the Pacific and
the Caribbean regions comprising 52 countries are scheduled for September
2014. He also said eight official requests for technical assistance
had been received from six countries so far from the Network
Technology Needs Assessment (TNA)
The taskforce on TNA presented a draft paper on good practices
of TNAs, technology action plans and project ideas as part of the
TEC’s plan for review. The TEC is invited to identify follow-up actions
including agreeing on a process for finalising the paper after TEC9
and to provide initial guidance to the taskforce on possible elements
of draft key messages to the COP.
Klincewicz (Poland) said the paper is a good background document
with collection of examples of TNAs but he was not sure if the examples
could be considered good practices. Drawing members’ attention to
the conclusion of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological
Advice (SBSTA) 40 in paragraph 37 which ‘noted the need for Parties
to enhance and follow up on the TNA process by further promoting the
development and implementation of economically, environmentally and
socially sound project proposals’, he cautioned that the selection
of technology was widely based on the outdated TNA handbook which
was developed several years ago. He urged all Parties to adhere to
El-Hassan (Sudan), a member of the taskforce admitted that
the paper has been rushed as the taskforce did not have enough time.
Wanna Tanunchaiwatana, technology sub-programme manager of
the UNFCCC secretariat said lessons learnt from the first round of
TNA (which started in 2002) will be beneficial for the second round.
There is some information on good practices; the TEC can convey them
to the COP, adding that the paper should be streamlined and made available
to those engaging in the second round of TNAs.
Daniel Buira Clark (Mexico) said there is an obligation to
share the good practices given that there is a second round of TNAs.
Chair of the Advisory Board of the CTCN Fred Machulu Onduri (Uganda)
said it is time the TEC and CTCN work out modalities on how to turn
these TNAs into actual implementation.
Vice Chair Kunihiko Shimada (Japan) commended the taskforce
for its good quality work. He said TEC has to decide what it does
with the paper and if it is comfortable going in the direction to
publish it for outsiders which would require enormous amount of work
but if it is just drafting key messages and recommendation for the
COP then it is fine.
While agreeing that a 21-page document is very long and need to be
shortened, Karma Tsering (Bhutan) said the document is an important
one and it should be further improved and used for general circulation.
Chair Blanco (Argentina) explained that it will take too much
time during this meeting to get into the details and suggested drawing
some elements and give some guidance to the taskforce and see if it
could come out with key messages to take to the COP.
The taskforce went into breakout session to work on the third day
and presented the key elements on the last day.
Technologies for adaptation:
Taskforce member Omedi Moses Jura (Kenya) introduced the draft
TEC briefs on technologies for adaptation on water and agriculture
which were prepared in consultation with the Adaptation Committee
(AC). The TEC is supposed to agree on a process to finalise the briefs.
Thompson (United States) wondered what do the AC members think
about the briefs and we must get 100% acceptance from the AC. He cautioned
that this is the TEC first foray with another entity under the Convention,
stressing that the briefs have to be absolute gold standard quality.
Shimada (Japan) who is one of the four taskforce members from
TEC (the other two being Viktoriia Shtets of Ukraine
and Eduardo Noboa of Ecuador) said none of the AC members
participated in the tele-conference but did provide written comments.
However, he believed the relationship with AC has been good but it
is up to the TEC to finalise the process and come out with concrete
Jura (Kenya) said the TEC has the advantage of having the taskforce
but not the case for the AC. He said in future, the TEC could suggest
to whichever organisation that it wants to collaborate with to appoint
a focal point, noting that although AC members attended the joint
workshop (with TEC in March).
Pfulger (Germany) agreed that the brief should be of gold standard
and the TEC does not need to wait for the AC to tell it what to do.
He said these are the two TEC briefs that address specific technologies
and the potential audience maybe ministers, referring to the 93 NDEs
that have been registered by the CTCN. He also said the briefs could
be used to address the business communities to build some kind of
Blanco (Argentina) expressed concern that members were moving
away from the core issue which is facilitation of technology transfer.
He said the briefs are dominated by technologies and implementation
aspects and there should be a bit more focus on the technology transfer
and development aspects such as what are the barriers and possibility
Zhang (China) said he would support the initiative of the taskforce
and the work should be continued. He, however, opined that time should
be better spent on mobilising resources from relevant organisations.
For agriculture, he said, many organisations had identified the issues
and members should mobilise them and name them in the briefs.
El-Hassan said there are barriers when it comes to south-south
technology transfer and addressing the issues of barriers will help
focus attention on it.
Possible areas for further collaboration with Adaptation Committee
Thompson (United States) and Shimada (Japan) noted again
that better communication between TEC and AC is important to ensure
success of the taskforce work.
Jura (Kenya) said members can all appreciate that there is
a submission by the AC with suggestions that needs to be taken into
consideration. He said the AC suggested that collaboration should
be country-driven, linking TNAs to the NAP process by promoting TNAs
at the initial stage of the NAP process.
Thompson (United States) recommended that the Chair and Vice-chair
with the advice of the taskforce on adaptation to reach out to the
AC to ensure better communication.
Chair Blanco (Argentina) explained that an email was received
from the AC Co-chairs Christina Chan (United States) and Juan Hoffmaister
(Bolivia) who apologised for not being able to make it to the conference
call. He acknowledged that it is not that simple to improve cross-participation
but he and Shimada are working on the communication link.
Evaluation of the Poznan Strategic Programme (PSP) on Technology
Chairing the discussion, Vice-chair Shimada (Japan) said this
was a tough job as TEC has to report to the 41st session of the Subsidiary
Body on Implementation (SBI) meeting and the COP in Lima. (At its
40th session, SBI invited the TEC to evaluate the PSP with the aim
of enhancing the effectiveness of the Technology Mechanism, and to
report back to COP 20 through SBI 41.)
A background paper prepared by the Secretariat under the guidance
of TEC’s Chair and Vice-chair was presented and the TEC is expected
to agree on further action to evaluate the PSP with a view to report
back to the COP in Lima.
Recalling what resulted in the task from the 40th session of the SBI,
Stig Svenningsen (Norway) said the PSP was established before
the TM and it is now appropriate to see how the PSP and the TM can
work together; what the synergies are as well as considering the discussion
under the Adhoc Working Group on Durban Platform for Enhanced Actions
about strengthening the TM.
Elfriede More (Austria) said a lot of questions were raised
during the June (40th) session of the SBI where Parties noted that
some of the task the GEF is doing in the PSP framework may now be
a task of the CTCN and they also realised that they could not tell
the GEF what to do but they can give guidance to the GEF Council and
it is up to the GEF to decide about their mandate for the PSP. The
discussion came along as the TEC was invited to provide concrete ideas
or value of the work of the PSP on whether there are overlaps in the
mandate for PSP and CTCN and how the TEC envisioned the future to
be. She said based on recommendations from the TEC, the next SBI session
can continue the discussion on the guidance the COP can give to the
El-Hassan (Sudan) stressed the point that PSP is established
by the Parties and therefore it is our programme and not the GEF.
He noted that the PSP is no doubt the only funding window that we
have and which deals with the important TNAs while members are struggling
to get a funding window on technology under the GCF. Unfortunately,
he said, the pilot projects were not implemented due to project cycle
limitation which takes more than four or five years. He said the pilot
projects should be tailored towards helping developing countries to
address barriers especially in the technical assistance and
capacity building aspects. The PSP and CTCN could collaborate in this
Kennedy (Ireland) pointed out that the memorandum of understanding
between GEF and the COP which allowed the COP to evaluate the PSP
every year and the technology transfer component of the PSP is embedded
in mitigation. He added that the GEF funds projects and not institutions
(like TEC). He also wondered if it is absolutely urgent to respond
to the task.
Svenningsen (Norway) said it is a big expectation on the part
of the SBI that members come up with smart solutions. He said perhaps
the TEC can request the SBI to come out with guidance for TEC to work
on it next year and the GEF can be asked to present an evaluation
of the PSP to the TEC.
Thompson (United States) said if the TEC really wanted to get
to the essence of the debate in June, it needed a broader scope to
do a full-fledge evaluation of the PSP in collaboration with the GEF.
El-Hassan (Sudan) said there were no evaluation of the PSP
so far but it is important to see how the programme enhanced the TM.
However, he disagreed that the evaluation should be done by the GEF
but by Parties and practitioners that work on this programme.
Klincewicz (Poland) pointed out that there is no mention of
specific outcomes or evaluation modalities so it would be a bit of
a stretch to ask for a formal evaluation. He said Parties will understand
that the task of evaluating will be limited to the parts which are
related to TM and the lessons learnt could go towards formulating
some recommendations for the TEC to be taken to the COP. He called
for a taskforce to be identified for this work as there is only three
months to complete the job.
Diann Black-Layne, co-Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance
(SCF) pointed out that as the COP provides guidance to the GEF,
the TEC could asked the GEF to prioritise funding and give breakdowns
on where money was spent as she reckoned that a lot of money were
spent except for actual transfer of technology.
Fred Machulu Onduri, chair of the advisory board of the CTCN
said most pilot projects under the PSP were on mitigation and only
one for adaptation and when the pilot phase is over there is no follow-up
action. He said pilot projects should be translated into bankable
projects. He said TNAs need finance to translate them into projects
and actions that will realise the objective of the TM. On the PSP,
he said members should not talk about killing the PSP but about its
systematic transfer into the TM by incorporating the elements of PSP
into the respective components of the TM meaning the TEC and CTCN.
Zhang (China) said he saw the task as a kind of strategic evaluation
and not detailed evaluation and the TEC has an opportunity to strengthen
the PSP and to enhance the effectiveness of the TM. He said members
could look at mandate of the PSP and the areas it focused on and compared
that with those of the TM and request that the PSP give priority to
those areas of the TM.
Klincewicz (Poland) said it would reflect badly on the TEC
if members do not react to the invitation from SBI. He said taskforce
is the only practical way to deal with this task and he is unsure
if the taskforce on strategic and emerging issue is the right one.
He would proposed the establishment of a new taskforce which can be
as big as having 20 members.
It was subsequently decided that the taskforce on ‘emerging issues’
would deal with this issue and work during the intersession period.
Key messages and recommendations to the COP
On the last day, members discussed the various key messages from specific
activities of the TEC to be forwarded to the COP. They comprised of
key messages on TNAs, adaptation, climate finance, linkages between
the TM and FM. A zero draft of report on activities and performance
of the TEC for 2014 and a report on the joint section of the TEC and
CTCN was also deliberated.
As several of the key messages and reports received comments and needed
to be amended, the reports could not be finalised. Some members suggested
to resume TEC9 in October, in conjunction with the workshop on national
systems of innovation.
However, developed country members asserted that there is no consensus
for another meeting of TEC this year and preferred to use electronic
means of communication to finalise the work. Developing country members
were not confident that email communication was effective and preferred
face-to-face meeting that can resolve issues effectively. In response,
developed country members said they were willing to work late into
the night to complete the work of all the agenda items.
After consultation with Vice-Chair Shimada and the secretariat, Chair
Blanco said to work using electronic means is similar to his earlier
suggestion for members to give him and Shimada the mandate to finalise
the outstanding work as most reports had gone through several rounds
of amendments. He said the revised documents could be circulated for
comments and he did not expect too many changes.
The compromise was accepted by members with assurance that clear rules
and guidelines for soliciting feedback will be circulated by the Chair.
The next meeting is fixed for the week of 9 to 13 March, 2014.